Hospital board looks at its proposed Pillars of Performance



by Richard Uhlhorn


The Lake Chelan Board of Commissioners met in regular session
on Tuesday, August 28 

The Lake Chelan Community Hospital Board of Directors held their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, August 28 and after a few comments by Kim Dunbar, Executive Director of the Lake Chelan Health & Wellness Foundation, went into an executive session for approximately 40 minutes to discuss the hospital’s CEO recruitment efforts.

Mary Signorelli, chairman of the board, told those in attendance that the board has yet to select a new Chief Executive Officer. “We have not selected a CEO. We are continuing the search.” She stated that a screening committee consisting of Interim CEO Steve Patonai, and board members Phyllis Gleasman and Mary Murphy was being formed to help in the selection process. The hospital board will continue to work with B.E. Smith.

“The candidates we had were not the ones we wanted,” explained Signorelli. The board will be revising a few of the qualifications as they go forward in this search. B.E. Smith will send the board the 100 applicants they hadn’t sent previously.


The Board met in executive session to discuss their efforts to recruit a new Chief Executive Officer and came back into regular session and told those in attendance that the Board has not found a new CEO and that the search would continue.

After the meeting, Interim CEO Steve Patonai said that while the two candidates that were being considered were extremely qualified, they were not strong enough candidates going forward. Patonai stated that the board was looking for a CEO that can take the hospital into the future based on board’s 10 year vision.

Signorelli then moved into an update of the August 8/9 Strategic Planning Retreat. “We came up with a long range vision over two days,” she said. “It was a very productive time spent together.” The retreat included the board, three doctors and staff members.

Patonai stated that the retreat was very meaningful and very instructive. “To me, you have to have all six hitting on all cylinders working to be a top notch organization,” said Patonai. Those six elements include: People; Service; Quality & Safety; Growth & Innovation; Finance; and Community.


Interim CEO Steve Patonai went over his distilling of the retreat discussions on August 8 and 9 and came up with six Pillars of Performance that the hospital needs of focus on to bring its service into the top 10 percent of rural hospitals.

He went through each of the vision elements and said he tried to capture everything the board and physicians talked about over the two days by compiling them into smaller elements that everyone could think about.

People B –  Patonai said that the hospital staff and doctors need to be highly skilled and engaged as providers

Service – The vision for the hospital is to be in the top 10 percent of Patient Satisfaction in all areas.

Quality & Service –Again the hospital wants to be in the top 10 percent in all quality measures with zero preventable patient harm. “It is the perceived quality and the real quality. How well the outcome is for patient after a surgical procedure.”

Growth & Innovation – They want strong primary care with convenient access and availability. “You have to have quality increasing and sales increasing,” said Patonai. “Health care is a business from a volume standpoint.” He stated that innovation is also important. “Healthcare is changing a lot and the usual way of doing things doesn’t work anymore,” said Patonai. “You have to get real creative. We want to encourage innovation and out of the box thinking.”

Finance – Patonai stated that finance was also important. “You want to make sure you can purchase the things you need.”

Community – The hospital also needs to address the community’s needs with outreach and wellness programs and education. “There are things you can do with the community that the community demands of us also.”

Of the above visions, the hospital’s 2019 proposed goals are to increase its staff engagement and its skillsets; to obtain a 90 percent annual wellness visits from patients; increase access and availability to primary care and specialists with partnership opportunities with other hospitals and health systems; financially increase it operating margin by 2 percent by year end; and to increase community wellness and educational offerings.

“This is just a sample of goals,” said Patonai. He asked if there were any questions.

Signorelli said she would like to see a semi-annual state of the hospital report, but Mary Murphy asked if there was some way to meet on a regular basis. Patonai said they would meet on a quarterly basis to if the hospital is meeting its targets. “How close are we to them. Are we on target or not. Kind of a quick and dirty view of where are at.”

The next board meeting will cover the strategies of how to meet the vision and goals


Author: allthingslakechelan

I have been a journalist, photojournalist and reporter in the Lake Chelan Valley since 1988; first with the Wenatchee World, then 15 years at the Lake Chelan Mirror and another 12 years at GoLakeChelan. Currently, I am semi-retired but can't give up the media gig which is why I started All Things Lake Chelan blog. I also have two social media platforms; allthingslakechelan/facebook and lakechelansportsandrecration/facebook. I am also a professional photographer with many credits with major outlets around the world.

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